Casinos see the holiday rush

December 31, 2011

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THACKERVILLE, OK – Crowds of people heading to casinos also apparently contributes to traffic this time of year.

Casinos in Oklahoma said the holidays are usually a busy time for them, especially on weekends.

They said more Texas residents seem to make the trip to casinos.

Officials at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville said their Christmas day crowd started pouring in yesterday afternoon and they expect it to continue until after New Years day.

For a list of upcoming casino events log on to or

Casinos see the holiday rush

Poker Tournament Draws Thousands to Minot on KFYR-TV North Dakota’s NBC News Leader

December 31, 2011

KFYR-TV News Stories Hilary Zalla | 12/29/2011 This week is the North Dakota Texas Hold `Em Championship Tournament at the Vegas Motel in Minot. It`s the largest poker tournament outside of Nevada and brings together players from all over the region. The championship has one of the largest pay outs which this year is over $42,000. Organizers said they`re expecting over 1900 players this year.Players come from all over hoping to win big. We met people from Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, and Canada, just to name a few. Their all hoping to play their cards right and win the coveted title of State Poker Champion.”You can?t plan anything around this time because you have to go to tourney,? said Chastity Askvig from Carpio, North Dakota.So, what does it take to win that grand prize? We asked the man who knows best, the current North Dakota Poker Champion.”Put yourself in place, take a lot of skill, and you need luck,” said Andrew Gray. He wont the tournament last year. He says you either go big or go home!Organizers said the event is good training ground for all those avid poker players, but more than that it?s a fun tradition.”It?s a nice way to run into the same people you run into last 7-8 years,” said Barb Cuthill from Saskatchewan.”I?ve made lots of good friends, played lots of good poker,” said Scott Phelps from Grafton, North Dakota. The event kicked off Thursday and runs until New Year?s Day.



Poker Tournament Draws Thousands to Minot on KFYR-TV North Dakota’s NBC News Leader

11 to watch in 2011 — where are they now?

December 30, 2011

On Jan. 1, 2011, the Bangor Daily News named 11 people to watch in the coming year. Some of them were household names, others were newcomers to the state’s political and economic landscape, a handful worked relatively quietly in their fields of endeavor.

Not all of them fared well as the year wore on. Three of them left the state, while the others continued to make news in large and small ways. More than half of them are expected to make headlines in 2012.

1. Linda Bean, lobster dealer and heir to L.L. Bean fortune.

The granddaughter and heiress of L.L. Bean opened two restaurants in 2011. The 240-seat Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern debuted July 1 across the street from the Freeport store that bears her grandfather’s name. Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster Cafe opened as the leaves were turning at the Portland Jetport as part of its expansion. She licensed that business to HMSHost with the agreement that it can expand to turnpike operations and other airports.

Bean said in October that she also has licensed an operation at the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a 45-day event.

In addition to lobster rolls, “cuddlers,” cooked lobster claws that you can eat while you walk, will be featured. A “Cuddler” is a lobster claw you hold on the half-shell instead of a stick. Bean has been talking to Epcot about a permanent kiosk. She also is distributing live lobsters and finished products through Walmart, Hannaford Bros. and Shaw’s Supermarkets.

“I’ve learned that my name, Bean, combined with Maine lobsters opens doors,” the businesswoman said in October. “It’s a real blossoming.”

2. Tarren Bragdon, former CEO of the politically conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center.

Bragdon left the state for Florida in June after a controversial bill to deregulate health insurance, which he helped craft, passed the Legislature.

Bragdon now heads the Foundation for Government Accountability, a Naples, Fla.-based conservative think tank he created this summer. It is a member of the State Policy Network, a national umbrella organization for nonprofits that push free-market ideas.

Now based in Naples, Bragdon said he also planned to open an office in Tallahasee — the Florida state capital.

Before leaving Maine, he said he was looking forward to taking his conservative ideas to a bigger and, possibly, more receptive arena. Bragdon was considered a close adviser to Gov. Paul LePage, co-chaired his transition team and helped the governor put together his first $6.1 billion budget proposal.

Bragdon has been noticed by national conservative leaders, a Florida newspaper reported.

3. Susan Corbett, CEO, Axiom Technologies.

The woman known in rural Washington County as the “Internet Goddess” made news in May for her support of a proposed $1.50 increase per pack in the state tax on cigarettes to bolster the Fund for a Healthy Maine, reduce teen smoking and help economic development.

Susan Corbett urged that some of the money be used to invest in economic development. The proposal, put forward after Gov. Paul LePage said he would use money from the tobacco-settlement fund to balance the budget, died quickly after a threatened veto.

Corbett’s firm continues to supply high-speed Internet access to thousands of residents and businesses across Washington County.

4. Habib Dagher, director of the DeepCwind Consortium and Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine.

Dagher’s proposal for a deep water wind farm off Maine’s coast moved closer to reality earlier this month as state and federal officials got a more detailed look at a Norwegian energy company’s proposal. The interest shown by Statoil North America Inc., a division of the Norwegian company Statoil ASA, and a major industry player in offshore wind, immediately accelerated the potential development of the sector in Maine.

In October, European officials from Italy, Germany and Norway visited UMaine’s Offshore Wind Laboratory to preview plans to install a 500-megawatt floating wind turbine farm in the Gulf of Maine by 2020.

In August, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar got a tour of the new testing facility, constructed with $17.4 million in public money.

“This lab has caught the inspiration and imagination of the world,” he said.

5. Rebecca DeKeuster, CEO of Northeast Patients Group.

The woman expected a year ago to play a major role in the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana law, was out of the business two months into 2011.

DeKeuster resigned her position as head of Northeast Patients group on Feb. 24 after she allegedly breached the terms of her contract by using inside information to cut a deal with a Rhode Island-based group headed by former professional basketball player Cuttino Mobley.

The lawsuit, filed July 6 in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland by Northeast’s former financial partner, Berkeley Patients Group of California, charged DeKeuster with breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and is seeking $632,000 in lost investments and related costs. The lawsuit is pending but Northeast announced in August it had secured $1.6 million in capital from Mobley.

Northeast holds licences for medical marijuana dispensaries in Thomaston, Bangor, Kennebec County and in the Portland area.

6. Peter Martin, governmental relations adviser for Black Bear Entertainment.

Construction began this summer on Black Bear Entertainiment’s $165 million, four-season resort with a casino, which will include a hotel, restaurants, conference space and a spa.

In September, it was announced that Silverton Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., would be its gaming partner.

Voters in November rejected proposals for gaming facilities in Biddeford, Lewiston and Washington County. Voters in Penobscot County, however, approved adding table games to the slot machines at Hollywood Slots in Bangor.

Peter Martin persuaded legislators to pass a bill that defined the 100-mile distance required between gambling facilities as road miles rather than as-the-crow-flies miles. He also helped defeat a bill that would have created a competitive bid process for potential casinos.

7. David Proffitt, CEO of The Acadia Hospital.

David Proffitt’s resignation was announced on April 1 by Michelle Hood, president and CEO of the hospital’s corporate parent, Brewer-based Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. Proffitt had headed up the 100-bed psychiatric hospital since the fall of 2008.

His resignation was the culmination of months of criticism from employees, who charged that his policies aimed at eliminating the use of patient restraints had led to a significant increase in worker injuries at the hands of out-of-control patients.

Those complaints led to a federal investigation in 2011 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which found a number of worker safety violations.

In September, Proffitt took over the reins of the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Minn. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that he replaced a man removed the same month Profitt left Acadia for some of the same safety issues for which he was criticized in Maine.

8. Roxanne Quimby, conservationist and philanthropist.

Wealthy conservationist Quimby’s proposal to donate 70,000 acres of remote land in northern Maine for the creation of a national park divided Mainers and made the founder of Burt’s Bees personal care products nearly as controversial a figure as Gov. Paul LePage.

An independent poll in December showed that 60 percent of Mainers supported a National Parks Service feasibility study of Quimby’s proposal.

The day after the survey was released Peter Hanson, president of Great Northern Paper Co LLC, told 75 Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce members that he felt a national park and his industry could coexist well, but added that he would “have a concern” about answering to federal air quality standards.

A week later, his resignation over what company officials called “philosophical differences” was announced.

Critics of Quimby’s park plan say they prefer a “working forest” where logging can co-exist with outdoor recreationists to a park with restricted uses.

9. Kevin Raye, Senate president.

The Republican state senator from Washington County announced in October that he had f ormed an exploratory committee to consider challenging Democrat Mike Michaud for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat next year. Raye lost the race to Michaud in 2002.

Raye is serving his fourth and final term in the State Senate due to term limits.

Raye was credited with helping Republicans win a majority in the state Legislature for the first time in 30 years in 2010. He has helped shepherd reforms sought by Gov. Paul LePage through the Legislature including a major health care regulation bill.

Raye failed, however, to push through a redistricting plan for the state’s two Congressional districts that, if approved, might have made it easier for him to beat Michaud in 2012.

As of Dec. 26, Kevin Raye had not announced his decision about running for Congress.

10. Kenneth Smith, Millinocket school superintendent.

Kenneth Smith’s bold initiative to bring students from China to Stearns High School hit a snag when just three students enrolled in the fall.

School officials originally planned to recruit as many as 60 Chinese students but a recruiting failure by an agent in China reduced that number to six or seven, then three.

The international student program, which school leaders first discussed in 2009, was to have earned the district $24,000 in tuition per student per year. Money for tuition was seen as much-needed revenue that eventually could grow to offset declining state and federal aid, a decline in student population and an enormous tax revenue loss caused by a revaluation of the Katahdin Avenue paper mill.

In addition to student recruiting problems and financial woes facing the region, school board Chairman Arnold Hopkins resigned earlier this month after he predicted a $140,000 to $150,000 budget shortfall.

Hopkins was the only board member to voice significant reservation about the China program. Smith said recently that closer ties to an individual school in China might make Stearns more attractive to Chinese students and their families.

11. Peter Vigue, chairman and CEO, Cianbro Corp.

One of Vigue’s latest ideas is to lease the median strip of Interstate 95 to Bangor Hydro, which could run a utilities line from Canada through Maine to the rest of New England. Those lease payments could help pay for an East-West Highway.

Cianbro began two major construction projects in Maine this summer: the $65 million Bangor arena and events and convention center, which will replace the Bangor Auditorium and the $165 million Oxford Casino. Vigue also is involved in the development of deep-water, offshore wind turbines at the University of Maine. Cianbro is expected to fabricate the components to the floating turbines.

Vigue has said he saw real potential for Maine, not just in diversifying the energy sources, but in developing and building next-generation offshore wind technology.

“I do not think we’ve come anywhere close to achieving what we’re capable of achieving in this state, from an economic perspective,” Vigue said in March. “This is an opportunity not only for Maine but for this country to become an exporter of much of this equipment on a global basis.”

BDN writers Meg Haskell, Jeff Tuttle, Nick McCrea, Eric Russell, Judy Harrison, Nick Sambides Jr. and Matt Wickenheiser contributed to this report.

11 to watch in 2011 — where are they now?

Casino Manager Bonu$ Cash Giveaway Days Are Back at Barona

December 30, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA, Dec 09, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –From Monday, Dec. 12 through Wednesday, Dec. 14, Barona Resort &Casino is ringing in the season and bringing back its three “CasinoManager Bonu$ Cash Days,” as part of Barona’s famous Golden Ticketcash giveaway.

Every hour beginning at 12 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 12 through Wednesday,Dec. 14, one of Barona’s friendly casino managers and their staffwill give a $500 bonus cash prize to one Club Barona member activelyplaying their favorite slots or table games. Club Barona members whohave earned 500 myPoints or equivalent table games or poker playsince 8 p.m. the evening prior, about an hour of play for most folks,will be eligible to win the daily cash prizes which total $12,000 aday for a total cash payout of $36,000 over the three days.

“The anticipation for our $250,000 Golden Ticket grand prize drawingon December 23 continues to build and now we are going to up the anteone more time,” said Rick Salinas, general manager of Barona Resort &Casino. “Our players loved last month’s bonus cash giveaways andasked for more so we are bringing it back one more time before thegrand finale.”

The Golden Ticket is the largest grand finale prize giveaway inBarona’s history. Now through Dec. 23, Club Barona members canqualify any day to win one of 53 Golden Tickets. All you have to dois earn 500 myPoints any day and you will automatically be enteredinto a daily drawing for a coveted Golden Ticket. At 9 p.m. on Dec.23, one of the 53 Golden Ticket holders is guaranteed to walk awaywith a quarter of a million dollars; 50 players who qualified for aGolden Ticket but didn’t win one will also each take home $1,000 incash.

Known as San Diego’s loosest casino, Barona offers 2,000 slot andvideo poker machines, monitored by The Barona Loose Troop(R) toensure they are the loosest around. Additionally, the casino featuresover 80 table games including Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, CaribbeanStud, Barona Craps, Three-Card Poker, Four-Card Poker, MississippiStud, Let It Ride, Baccarat and Barona Roulette, as well as thelatest innovations in chipless gaming including Chipless RouletteBarona(R), Chipless Baccarat Barona(R), Chipless Three-Card Poker andChipless Blackjack Barona(R).

About Barona Resort & Casino Barona Resort & Casino, a AAA FourDiamond rated property, blends the best of San Diego’s leadingresorts with the gaming excitement of Las Vegas. LEED(R) GoldCertified by the U.S. Green Building Council, Barona is San Diego’sleading destination resort featuring 400 guest rooms and suites allwith beautiful views of the Barona Valley, a variety of award-winningdining options, the AmBience Day Spa, a full-service events centerand the 18-hole championship Barona Creek Golf Club, rated the 3rdbest resort course in California by Golfweek magazine. For BaronaResort & Casino reservations and information, visit ,or call toll free 888-7-BARONA (722-7662). You can also join BaronaResort & Casino on Facebook(R), Twitter and YouTube today.

CONTACTS: Audrey Doherty 619-236-8397 Email Contact Kelly Jacobs Speer 619-933-5013 Email Contact

SOURCE: Barona Resort & Casino

Copyright 2011 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Casino Manager Bonu$ Cash Giveaway Days Are Back at Barona

Basic Rules for Playing Poker

December 30, 2011

All new or beginning poker players should know at least the basic poker rules before playing in a game for real money. Once you do, you can sit down and play a live game of poker with the confidence of understanding the poker rules required. The following go over the very basic poker rules for all types of poker games. After you feel confident that you completely understand these rules, you should look into specific poker rules for every form of poker games played today, or at least the particular game you want to take part in.

Poker has seen its popularity grow in recent timesWikimedia Commons

Poker is card game that is typically played with a standard 52-card deck. There are a few poker games played with multiple decks or some use s 54-card deck. These games add the two additional joker cards into the mix. The majority of poker games you will find will simply make use of the standard deck. The ranking of the cards from the highest to lowest goes as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. You may have noticed that the Ace card was listed twice. This is because the Ace is used as a low card, but in most games, the Ace is used for a high card. The four different suites of a deck of cards consist of: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. Yet, each of the suites ranks equally. Every poker hand includes five cards. The highest ranked hand among all of the players still in the round wins. This gets a little more complicated when you play in a Hi-Lo poker game.

Poker Hand Rankings

It is extremely important for every first time poker player to know this section of poker rules. The specific hands ranking will determine the precise manner you play every poker hand. You must memorize the ranking of the poker hands ahead of you ever sitting down to play your first game of poker.

Betting is another noteworthy part of poker rules that all first time poker players should thoroughly know. You should learn more details on the specific betting rules of each poker game, once you decide the game (or games) you want to play. However, there are four fundamental betting procedures in most types of poker games. This includes Ante, Call, Raise and Reraise.

This concludes the basic poker rules used in the game. Once you understand these, you should study on the subject of the specific poker game you are interested in playing for more thorough poker rules. The most popular poker games that you will most likely encounter include Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo.

Diane has more than 20 years experience in the casino industry in Nevada. She doesn't just know how to play poker; she also knows how to deal the game.

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Basic Rules for Playing Poker

Rosemont Mayor Orders Independent Inquiry Into Des Plaines Casino Altercation – Journal & Topics Newspapers Online: News

December 30, 2011

An individual or company will soon conduct an independentinvestigation into a recent incident at the Rivers Casino in DesPlaines involving a Chicago man, a Rosemont police detective and atop level Rosemont Public Safety officer.

The incident, which occurred in the early morning hours ofSaturday, Dec. 17, did not result in any charges being filed by DesPlaines police.

According to reports, a confrontation began when the 46-year-oldChicago resident realized he had left his coat on a seat inside abar area and returned to retrieve it. When he got to the bar, hesaw that other patrons were sitting on his coat. Reports said hethen asked for his jacket. That’s when the Rosemont detective,Michael O’Neill, allegedly swore at the man. O’Neill told policethat when the man began to reach in, he thought that he was tryingto touch his wife. That angered O’Neill, said reports, promptingO’Neill to tell the man to leave. Each man then began to push eachother and punches were thrown, reports added. Video surveillance ofthe incident, said police, showed the two men arguing followed bypushing and then O’Neill allegedly grabbing the man’s arm andslapping him in the face. The Chicago man then hit O’Neill in theface with his fist knocking him down. Donald Stephens III, firstdeputy superintendent of the Rosemont Public Safety Dept., who wasvisiting the casino at the time with O’Neill, positioned himselfbetween O’Neill and the Chicago man. Moments later, casino securityarrived.

Reports said that both men involved in the fight wereintoxicated. No complaints were signed and everyone involved leftthe casino.

“They had words and what they said I don’t know,” said Stephensof the individuals involved in the altercation. “You could tellthere was an argument between the two. The physical altercationlasted a minimal amount of time.” Stephens said he believes thedetective was punched in the face by the Chicago man and that hesaw the off duty officer fall to the floor. The detective hadbruising on his face and a slight cut underneath his eye, Stephensadded.

“That’s when I intervened and saw an unidentified female smackhim (the detective) on the head.” Stephens said his onlyinvolvement was that he moved the female to the side. A short timelater, casino security guards arrived and directed O’Neill and theChicago man to a holding area to wait until Des Plaines policearrived. The female was not identified and quickly left the area.The Chicago man declined to sign a complaint.

Mayor Bradley Stephens has ordered an independent review of theincident, said Donald Stephens III, the mayor’s nephew. The mayorsaid the review will look at video tapes of the incident andinterviews will be conducted of individuals involved.

Rosemont Mayor Orders Independent Inquiry Into Des Plaines Casino Altercation – Journal & Topics Newspapers Online: News

Morton Grove Community Calendar for Jan. 5, 2012

December 30, 2011

December 29, 2011 11:28AM

Updated: December 29, 2011 2:20PM

Based upon space availability, The Champion prints calendar announcements and items for columns, including campus news, newsmakers and others for local organizations and individuals. For a complete listing, visit, The deadline is 14 days before the desired publication date, however there is no guarantee for publication. Send releases and items of local interest to: Morton Grove Champion, 3701 W. Lake Ave., Glenview IL 60026.

Urban Art Party: It’s Cool to Care will be held from 7-10 p.m., Feb. 10 at Grossinger City Autoplex, 1530 N. Dayton, Chicago. Tickets cost $50. Shop, eat, drink and dance the night away while supporting programs provided by Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, Chicago’s largest nonprofit provider of hospice, palliative care and grief support services. Sponsored by the Service Board of Midwest CareCenter, Urban Art Party will not be your typical charity event. It’s a party that brings together new art and eclectic works from some of Chicago’s trendiest artisans while supporting this community organization. A percentage of all art sales from the evening will be donated to Midwest CareCenter.

To register, call Linda Rockwell at (847) 556-1778 or visit

Morton Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold the following. Call (847) 965-0330.

The Women’s Power Lunch meets from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Jan. 21. Call for location.

A Socialization Group for Children will begin meeting on Mondays from 3:30-5 p.m. in January. This 10-week group is for children ages 3-5 who have challenges with social interactions. It will be held at Virginia Frank Child Development Center, 3033 Touhy Ave., Chicago. $350 series fee. Contact Joni Crounse, LCSW, or Kathy Ham, LCSW. Call (773) 761-4550 or visit

Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., offers the following programs. Call (847) 929-5102.

Kid’s film: “Kung Fu Panda 2” (PG), 4 p.m., Jan. 13. Po joins forces with a group of new kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy with a deadly new weapon.

Celebrate the Winter Library Challenge with a couple rounds of bingo. Then watch the movie, “Bingo”, followed by more games of bingo from 1-4 p.m., Jan. 7, in the Baxter Room. Prizes will be awarded. Participants in the Winter Library Challenge can have their “Movie” square stamped. “Bingo” (PG) tells the story of a runaway dog that saves a little boy’s life, beginning a friendship that crosses the nation. Dogcatchers, kidnappers, hospitals and even prison can’t keep the two best friends apart.

Read to the Rainbow Dogs will meet at 7 p.m., Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and 27, in the Activity Room. Children can practice reading to a certified therapy dog from Morton Grove’s Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy Foundation. Come in or call and sign up for a turn with one of the dogs. Bring what you want to read or choose a book from the library’s collection to read to our four-legged friends. Registration required for each 15-minute session.

Battle of the Books Inter-Library Championship takes place at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Baxter Room. Join us for one of the final Championship bouts for Battle of the Books. It’s the winner of the MGPL Battle Royale versus the winner of Niles Public Library’s Battle. The first inter-library battle will be held at Niles Public Library at 7 p.m. Jan. 9, followed by the second battle at MGPL on Jan. 11. The Inter-Library Champion is determined by overall points won between the two battles. No registration necessary to join the audience.

Snowman Fashion Show: Children through sixth grade. Is your snowman the best dressed in town? Then prove it! Drop a picture of your stylish snowperson in the box on the Youth Services or Reference Desk, or e-mail it to . In your e-mail, be sure to include the names, ages/grades, and phone numbers of all builders. In the event of no snowfall, use your creativity. Submissions will be accepted through Feb. 29. Winners will be notified March 9 for the silliest, fanciest, and most originally dressed snowmen.

Kids In the Kitchen for third- through sixth-graders will be held from 5-6:30 p.m., Jan. 12. Join Ms. Debbie to learn to plan a party, play games, decorate cupcakes, and most importantly, eat. Registration required.

Mother/Daughter Book Club for girls in third- and fourth-grades meets from 7-8 p.m., Jan. 17 to discuss “Fashion Kitty,” by Charise Mericle Harper. Join Mrs. Glenn, of the Youth Services staff, and her daughter for a new twist on the Mother-Daughter Book Club. Bring your mother (or aunt, grandmother, neighbor, older sister or teacher) with you for a discussion of the book of the month. Ten free copies of the book will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Books will be available for check-out if free book supplies run out. Share the book with your “mom,” bring it to the Library, and enjoy fun activities and a lively discussion of the story and characters. Refreshments will be served.

Chinese New Year Celebration for kindergarten through third-graders takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Jan. 23. Ring in the Chinese New Year at the library. Read stories, make a roaring craft, and make a delicious treat to eat to bring in the year of the dragon. Registration required.

Math Club for third- through sixth-graders will meet Tuesdays at 5 p.m. Multiplication Madness is Jan. 10; Diggin’ Division is Jan. 24; and Fractions are Fantastic is Feb. 14 in the Activity Room. Do you think math is scary? It doesn’t have to be. Come to Math Club for tricks, tips, and activities to get math to make sense. Join for one week or all three. Classes will be held at a beginner level, but are appropriate for older children who want to get back to basics. Registration required.

Crafty Saturday takes place on the second Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. Drop in to the YS Dept. to make a seasonal craft.

Kid Flicks are shown Mondays at 3:30 p.m. Drop-In Classes include:

Monday Morning Playgroup, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tots and their parents or caregivers can gather to meet new friends, play and have fun in the activity room.

Knitting Club, Mondays, 4-5 p.m. Bring a project or learn a new one. Ages 6 and up.

Listen Up! 10 a.m., Tuesdays. Storytime for preschool children and their caregivers. Children hear stories and songs, interact in a group and do a craft.

Also Crafty Saturday, 10 a.m. on third Saturdays each month. Drop in to the Youth Services Department to make a seasonal craft, while supplies last.

Library Playtime, 10:30 a.m. Thursdays. For 2-year-olds and parents or caregivers.

The Old Town School of Folk Music will hold sessions of its Wiggleworms Class at Northshore School of the Arts, 319 Park Ave., Glencoe and St. Matthew’s Church, 2120 Lincoln St., Evanston. For schedule information or to schedule a free trial class visit or call (773) 728-6000.

The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) and its member communities are offering a free Holiday Light Recycling Program to residents. All holiday string lighting and extension cords can be dropped off at various locations throughout northern Cook County. Garland, live greens, wreaths or other non-recyclables are not accepted in this program. The following communities have drop-off locations: Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Lincolnwood, Niles, Park Ridge, Skokie. The exact locations and drop-off hours can be found at

Morton Grove Commission on Aging meets monthly at the American Legion Memorial Civic Center, 6140 Dempster. The Commission will hold quarterly meetings at different locations in Morton Grove.

The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) recently established a Battery Recycling Program for rechargeable and alkaline batteries. The Agency has partnered with Interstate Batteries in Skokie to provide the recycling at no cost to SWANCC communities, as a corporate product stewardship initiative. Common household batteries are no longer accepted at Illinois EPA-sponsored household chemical waste events and facilities due to their benign nature and high recycling costs. Rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals which pose a threat to our environment, and have a marketable recyclability. Batteries Accepted in SWANCC’s Program includes: Alkaline: AA, AAA, C, D and 9V; and Rechargeables: NiCd, NiMh, lithium ion, lithium polymer. Before dropping off rechargeable batteries, residents need to tape the contact points on each battery or place in an individual self-locking plastic baggie to avoid sparks. For more information about Interstate Batteries, visit Drop-off details are posted at

The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County has established a location for residents to drop off electronics on a weekly basis at no cost at the Glenview Transfer Station, 1151 N. River Road, 9-11:30 a.m. Saturdays; and Winnetka Public Works, 1390 Willow Road, 10 a.m. – noon Tuesdays and 1-3 p.m. Thursdays. Under the new Electronics Products Recycling and Reuse Act (SB2313), only the following items will be accepted: Computers – PCs and laptops, scanners, computer monitors, mobile phones, peripherals -mice, keyboards, zip drives, MP3 players, televisions, PDAs, printers, VHS players, fax machines, DVD players, video game consoles, and DVR/cable boxes. Electronics from businesses, institutions or schools will not be accepted. Visit

A representative from the Niles Township Clerk’s office is available 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays and evenings by appointment, and on second and fourth Mondays of each month to accommodate residents with passport applications, voter registrations and temporary hand out handicapped parking placards. For an appointment at Niles Township in Skokie, call (847) 673-9300.

The Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, offers a variety of classes for the adults in the horticulture, garden design, nature studies and botanical arts by Garden staff and other experts. For information or to register, visit or call (847) 835-8261.

World Politics is a red-hot topic. Join expert Lester Mehlman as he discusses what is happening in the world at 1 p.m. Wednesdays, at Temple Judea Mizpah, 8610 Niles Center Road, Skokie. Bring your opinions to these group sessions. Call (847) 676-1566.

Adult Hebrew classes are offered Sunday mornings at Temple Judea Mizpah, 8610 Niles Center Road, Skokie. Enrollment is limited for the hour-long class. Call (847) 676-1566, for details.

Become a pilates club member at the Niles Family Fitness Center, at 987 Civic Center Drive, Niles. Purchase two mat pilates classes and receive a Pilates membership card. The card gives you the ability to join all the Mat Pilates Classes whenever you wish. Call (847) 588-8400 or visit for the schedule of classes.

Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy Inc., offers “Introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy,” dog training classes at various locations, including 6042 W. Oakton St., Morton Grove. $60. Contact Dorida King at or call (773) 736-9021, for schedules and locations.

TLC: Total Learning Community in Partnership with Oakton Community College offers free Family Literacy Classes Saturday mornings. Free child care provided. Participants learn about the United States school system; how to report a child’s absence from school; understanding report cards; preparing for parent-teacher conferences; how to complete school-required forms; helping with homework; and participating during parent-child activity. (847) 827-4137.

The Northbrook Woman’s Club Foundation is now accepting applications from organizations that wish to be considered for grants from the club’s philanthropy funds. Applications are available by calling Mary Wagley at (847) 480-8832 or by writing to the Northbrook Woman’s Club Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 132, Northbrook, IL 60065-0132. Completed applications must be postmarked by Feb. 14.

The Sweet Singers of Congregation Ezras Israel entertains at nursing homes, retirement facilities and charitable organizations. The group meets at 10 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month in the Rosenberg Auditorium of Ezras Israel, 7001 N. California Ave., Chicago. Anyone who enjoys singing is welcome to join. Call (773) 764-8320.

Northern Illinois Stereo Camera Club meets 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the Morton Grove Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., Morton Grove. The group is devoted to preserving and promoting all aspects of three-dimensional art and photography. Meetings are free and open to the public. Beginners welcome. Call T.J. Adamczyk at (773) 631-7068 or e-mail Mike Cosentino at . Also visit

The Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society meets monthly on the second Saturday of each month (except July and August) at 7:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, 8013 Laramie Ave., Skokie. Visitors are always welcome. The objectives of the society are to study, disseminate, and promote interest in the earth sciences emphasizing the various aspects of geology, paleontology, paleobotany, mineralogy, and the lapidary arts, as well as to collect minerals, fossil specimens, and cutting material. Call Jeanine N. Mielecki at (773) 774-2054 or e-mail . Visit

The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, North Shore Practice Group, meets the last Wednesday of each month from noon-1:30 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, Old Orchard Road, Skokie. This group is comprised of attorneys and financial and mental health professionals committed to helping people through divorce without litigation. Contact Sara Stolberg at or (847) 325-5554. Visit

Tu B’Shevat Rock! With ShirLaLa: Family Concert will be held from 4-6 p.m., Jan. 29 at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. Tickets cost $15 per person or $36 for a family of three or more. Contact Ali Drumm at or call (847) 432-8900.

Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois member Skip Bieber will present “Tips, Tricks and Tools to organizing your genealogy records with Family Tree Maker,” a genealogy software program, at 2 p.m., Jan. 29 at Temple Beth Israel, 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie. The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth Israel will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate members/guests who want to use library materials, get help with genealogy websites on the Internet, or ask genealogical related questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. Visit or phone (312) 666-0100.

Coffee with judicial candidate Abbey Fishman Romanek will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 24 in a resident’s home in West Wilmette. Romanek is a candidate for judge for one of two seats up for election from Cook County’s 9th judicial subcircuit, which includes all of Evanston, Wilmette, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Golf and parts of Glenview, Winnetka, Northfield, Niles, Morton Grove and Chicago. To join the coffee, contact Cheryl Smith at or (847) 256-3044.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, (847) 967-4800,, offers the following:

A special exhibit, “The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese-American Internment Camps, 1942-1946,” continues through Jan. 15. This exhibit showcases arts and crafts made by Japanese-Americans in U.S. internment camps during World War II. Free with museum admission. Call for hours and admission prices.

Film and Discussion: “Forgiving Dr. Mengele,” from 1:30-3:30 p.m., Jan. 8. This documentary relates how deadly medical experiments conducted in Auschwitz still affect survivor Eva Kor. A discussion with Bob Hercules, the film’s director, follows the screening. Free tickets with museum admission. Reservations required. Call (847) 967-4889.

Reader’s Theatre: “Judgment at Nuremberg,” a full dramatic reading, will be performed by the original cast of Shattered Globe Theatre’s award-winning 2003 production of the classic courtroom drama from 12:30-3:30 p.m., Jan. 15. Discussion follows with eyewitness Peter Less, one of the interpreters at the Nuremberg Trials. Tickets are $14 for general admission (includes museum admission) or $6 for museum members. Reservations are required. Purchase online at or call (847) 967-4889.

Memorialization and Memory: “In recognition of the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance,” from 6:30-8 p.m., Jan. 26. In partnership with the Illinois Holocaust & Genocide Commission, the museum presents two leaders in the field of memorialization, James Young and Cliff Chanin. Young, a professor of English and Judaic student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, served as a World Trade Center Site Memorial jury member. Chanin, the curator of the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Legacy of Absence galleries, is the 9/11 Memorial Museum Education Director. Free with Museum admission. Reservations are required. Call (847) 967-4889.

The Polish National Alliance and Polish fraternals are joining in the support of the Cell Phone For Soldiers program by having drop off boxes at their locations. Support the military by donating unused cell phones. The donated phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone, enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad with prepaid calling cards. Local residents can support the collection drive by donating their phones at the following locations: Polish National Alliance, 6100 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago, (800) 621-3723; Polish Roman Catholic Union, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, (800) 772-8632; Polish Women’s Alliance, 6643 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, (888) 522-1898; The Polish Daily News, 5711 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago (773) 763-3343; WPNA 1490 AM Radio, 408 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park (708) 524-9742; and PNA Bank, 7840 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, (847) 966-7900. Donations will be accepted through March 1, during regular office hours. For more information about the Cell Phones for Soldiers program, visit their website at or visit or call (773) 286-0500, Ext. 316 or 373.

The 50-50 Rule, a new local program, offers strategies for overcoming sibling differences to help families provide the best care for elderly parents. At the core of the 50-50 Rule public education program is a family relationship and communication guide of real-life situations that features practical advice from sibling relationships experts. Research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network reveals that an inability to work together often leads to one sibling becoming responsible for the bulk of caregiving in 43 percent of families. And that can result in the deterioration of relationships with brothers and sisters. For information about a free guide and other resources call (847) 673-1250 or visit

CJE’s Consumer Assistance staff can answer questions about Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, including the shrinking “donut hole” and other changes in Part D coverage for 2011 and beyond. Representatives can explain the differences between Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans and how to choose a plan that best suits one’s individual needs. If you or your loved ones have questions regarding healthcare reform and how it affects you, call CJE’s Consumer Assistance at (773) 508-1000, for a free consultation. Russian-speaking staff is also available.

Medical experts will answer questions regarding leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and multiple myeloma from patients and their families from 1-4 p.m., Jan. 29 at the Leukemia Research Foundation’s Annual Town Hall Meeting. The meeting will be held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Feinberg Pavilion — Conference Room A, 251 E. Huron in Chicago. Attendees can learn the latest about their disease and pose questions to a panel of medical experts in the field of hematology/oncology. The panel includes Ima Garcia, a Leukemia Research Foundation 2011 Nurse of the Year who offers another perspective useful to caregivers attending the Town Hall Meeting. Complimentary parking (vouchers handed out at check-in) will be available at the Huron/St. Clair parking garage. View the list of participating oncologists and get more information at or call (847) 424-0600.

Morton Grove Family and Senior Services Department offers health screenings at the American Legion Memorial Civic Center, 6140 Dempster St. Free diabetes and blood pressure screenings are held from 9 -11 a.m. every Tuesday.

Cholesterol screenings by Swedish Covenant Hospital are provided on the first Wednesday of each month. Cost is $10 for residents over 65, and $12 for residents under 65 and nonresidents. Appointments are required. Call (847) 470-5223.

Podiatry: Dr. Jeffrey Garrard will provide basic foot care and nail clipping on the first Tuesday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon. Medicare will be billed. Non-Medicare clients will be charged $35.00. Appointments are required. Call (847) 470-5223, for more information or to make an appointment.

Pediatric developmental screenings offered at no cost. LYNX Therapeutics, 9436 Ozark Ave., Morton Grove, provides specialized occupational therapy services and learning instruction programs to children with physical, social, emotional, and learning difficulties. Contact: Ingrid Kenron at (847) 791-1631 or (847) 966-1505.

Getting What You Want Out of Life: A Group for Adults with Disabilities will meet from 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 10 – March 27 at Jewish Child & Family Services, 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. Adults with disabilities will learn and practice the skills needed to discover and understand personal strengths, build relationships, set goals and make choices in all areas of life. Fee is $250 for a 12-week series. Contact Emily Tegenkamp at (773) 467-3741, or

Community Education for People with Disabilities, their Families and Professionals. Jewish Child & Family Services offers free monthly/bimonthly community education on a variety of topics related to disability at 5150 Golf Road, Skokie location. CEUs and CPDUs are available for all presentations. Visit Contact Emily Tegenkamp, (773) 467-3741,

Jewish Child & Family Services will hold a social group for adults with disabilities. Adults In Transition will meet from 5:45-7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the Goldie Bachmann Luftig Building, 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. Social support group for adults with disabilities who are in their 20s to mid-50s. Social support, conversation, and a safe environment to explore issues. Cost is $7 per session. Contact Sheri Fox, LCSW, (847) 412-4356. Visit

Finding Resources in the Community chest will be offered from 6-7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at JCFS, 3525 Peterson, Chicago. There are services in the community for people needing food, financial help, employment assistance and resources. This group will help identify options and create a plan of action to rebuild. Contact Lawrence Sodeinde, (773) 516-5526, . or

Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., (847) 929-5101, offers the following programs.

Films: “The Lion in Winter” (PG), 11:30 a.m.. Jan. 10. Historical drama. Cast: Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins. “Captain America” (PG-13), 2 p.m., Jan. 14. Cast: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving.

Kick off 2012 by participating in the Winter Library Challenge for Kids, Teens, and Adults. Stop by the library through Feb. 12, to pick up a bingo card and play the game to earn a chance for a great prize.

Sign up for a library card during the month of January and enter the drawing for a four-pack of free tickets to the 7:30 p.m., Feb. 8 opening night performance of “Quidam” by Cirque du Soleil at the Sears Centre Arena. The winner will be announced Feb. 1. The winner need not be present to win, but must pick up tickets.

Card-Making Extravaganza for All Ages takes place between 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Jan. 21 in the Baxter Room. Join everyone in the Greeting Card Studio for a morning of card-making fun. Stations will be set-up with assistance and instruction for making valentines. You will have the option of using stamps, cut-outs, or a computer to create your customized card. No experience necessary.

Celebrate the start of the new year with a Virtuoso Violin and Piano Classical Concert performed by violinist Oliver Colbertson and pianist Jimin Yun at 2 p.m., Jan. 15.

Exhibits in the Baxter Room for January will feature hand-made quilts by Debbie Moyes. Sign up for Debbie’s Jan. 28 “Get Hooked” quilting workshop. Call (847) 929-5122 or go to

Create Peace: A Creative Paper Mosaic Mural will be held from 10-11 a.m., Jan. 16 in the Activity Room. Come celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by creating a beautiful mosaic out of recycled materials. All ages are welcome to contribute to this giant art installation.

Build Peace: The Ultimate Lego Building Challenge takes place from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Jan. 16 in the Baxter Room. Honor Dr. Martin Luther King the Lego way by building a peace sign out of Lego bricks. Children of all ages are welcome to join the fun and contribute to the big challenge of making something circular out of the square Lego bricks.

“What It Is:” Unique Stories Celebrating Dr. King’s Legacy will be presented at 2 p.m., Jan. 16 at the Baxter Room. In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, storyteller Linda Gorham will tell an interactive story about Dr. King along with some of her favorite folktales. She will also share stories about historical heroes such as Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges who, like Dr. King, were part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Flying Paper! Paper Airplane Workshop for first- through sixth-graders will be held at 7 p.m., Jan. 23 in the Baxter Room. Learn how to construct a paper airplane and fly it – all during one fun program. Registration required.

Sue McCandless, Lyric Opera of Chicago, presents a profile of Verdi’s “Aida” at 2 p.m., Jan. 8. A close-up of “Show Boat” will take place at 2 p.m., Jan. 29, with Kip Kelley. The Lyric Opera Community Lecture is presented by members of Lyric Opera’s corps of volunteers and consist of an overview of the plot, biographical information about the composer and librettist, and musical highlights. Be sure to check out the library’s collection of recordings and books about the operas being discussed.

Knitting Roundtable for Adults will be held from 2:30-4 p.m., Mondays. Volunteer Ronnie Rund, an expert knitter, will show how to solve knitting challenges. Bring current knitting project(s) and needles.

Movies, Munchies and More: The Morton Grove Public Library hosts a weekly program that provides entertainment and education, plus light refreshments at 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday. Hear interesting speakers, see feature films and documentaries, enjoy live music, and meet people. Bring a lunch or just enjoy the coffee and munchies. The film “The Lion in Winter” will be screened at 11:30 a.m., Jan. 10. Call (847) 929-5101, for details about films.

Litlounge, a book group co-sponsored by the Morton Grove Public Library and the Skokie Public Library, meets in the Irish pub, The Curragh, at 8266 Lincoln Ave., in Skokie. Join them for a discussion of “The City & the City,” by China Miéville at 7 p.m., Jan. 17. In this award-winning novel, the two cities of Beszel and Ul Qoma simultaneously exist in the exact same location, but their citizens are forbidden from interacting with or seeing one another. When a murdered woman is found in Beszel, Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad searches for answers and uncovers evidence that points to conspiracies far more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Read Like a Teen is a new bi-monthly book club for people of all ages who want to read and discuss young adult books. The discussion will be about “The Book Thief,” by Marcus Zusak and take place at 7 p.m., Jan. 25. Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Genealogy Interest Group (GIG) meets from 2–4 p.m., Jan. 17. GIG is designed to be the informal exchange of ideas, research techniques, and an opportunity to get together with others interested in genealogy. Come and share ideas, pick up a few pointers, and make new friends. Registration is required. Morton Grove residents have priority.

Knitting for Adults is held at 3 p.m., Mondays. Expert knitter Ronnie Rund has volunteered her assistance in unraveling the mysteries of knitting. Bring needles and yarn. Beginners can learn how to knit from the pros and the pros can discuss stitches, yarns, and projects.

Parenting a child with special needs? Join other parents and consult with professionals on specific parenting issues for children with special needs. Single seminars and ongoing sessions offered at Jewish Child & Family Services, 255 Revere Drive, Northbrook. Call for more information and start dates. Groups are ongoing and run year-round. For dates, times and fees, contact Meredith White, (847) 412-4336,

Group Firefly, for children ages 10-14 diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder or Autism meet Tuesdays, from 5–6 p.m. at Jewish Child & Family Services, 255 Revere Drive, Northbrook. Group focuses on teaching and building social skills and encouraging prosocial engagement with peers. Three series, 10 weeks each. $250 per series fee. For dates and times, contact Rachel Riley, PsyD, (847) 412-4355,

Get Together for Parents and Children, for ages four and under meets Tuesdays, 10- 11:30 a.m. at Virginia Frank Child Development Center, 3033 Touhy, Chicago. The group offers an opportunity for parents to meet other parents with young children; get away from feeling ‘cooped up’ and ‘isolated;’ share experiences, ideas, and concerns with other parents and staff whose skills are in family and child development; discuss developmental issues and watch them unfold as children play. $15 per session per family. Contact Joanne Kestnbaum, LCSW, at (773) 761-4550. .

Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation offers individuals with physical and mental challenges, behavior and learning disorders, hearing and visual impairments and emotional disabilities the opportunity to enjoy recreation activities. To receive a seasonal brochure or to offer support for individuals with special needs by volunteering, call (847) 966-5522.

Taste of Judaism! Enjoy three free weekly classes on the modern Jewish take on spirituality, values, and community. Classes are dynamic and interactive; teachers are accessible, fun, and can answer any questions. The course is for people seeking to learn more about Judaism who are not currently affiliated with a congregation. All are welcome, Jewish or not. To register, contact Felicia Ross at or (847) 239-6988. To register online, go to

Movie Night will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 8201 N. Karlov Ave., Skokie, at 7:15 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Join them for a feature film, popcorn and discussion. Call (847) 966-8445.

Jerusalem Lutheran School, 6218 Capulina Ave., in Morton Grove, holds Sunday services at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Adult Bible study, children’s Sunday school and C4L (Christians for Life) teen group meet at 9:15 a.m. Two other Bible classes are offered on Wednesdays. Call Pastor Prange at (847) 965-7340 or visit

Temple Judea Mizpah, 8610 Niles Center Road, Skokie, will offer its K’tonim Pre-School Program of Judaic Arts and Play, for children ages 2 and older. Children will enjoy Judaic arts and crafts, stories, games, singing, and snacks with their parents and/or grandparents. Siblings are welcome. Children under two are free. Classes are held two Sundays per month from 9:45-11:15 a.m. Tuition per semester is $60 and $75, respectively, for members enrolling one or two children; and $85 and $100, respectively, for non-members enrolling one or two children. Call the temple office at (847) 676-1566.

Messiah Lutheran Church, 1605 Vernon Ave., Park Ridge, holds a Christian-education hour at 9 a.m. each Sunday, with worship service at 10:15 a.m. During the hour, Sunday school is in church parsonage; children preschool through sixth-grade welcome. Childcare services available during worship. (847) 823-6984.

Navy and Marine Corps shipmates who served on the USS Columbus CA-74/CG-12 from 1944 through 1976 and the USS Columbus (SSN-762) past and present, if you would like to share memories and camaraderie with old friends and make new ones, contact Allen R. Hope, president, 3828 Hobson Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46815-4505. Call (260) 486-2221 from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. eastern time, fax: (260) 492-9771 or e-mail: Hope4391@ frontier.corn.

Bright Ideas ESL is held from 9:15 – 11:15 a.m., Mondays and Thursdays at the Smith Activities Center, 5120 Galitz Street, Skokie. The Ongoing English as a Second Language class is for Russian-speaking refugees 60 and older. Interactive, fun, conversational. Beginners are welcome. Class is based on Bright Ideas ESL Curriculum, developed by the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly (CLESE), specifically for the older learner. No fee. Contact Barbara Urbanska-Yeager, (773) 866-5035.

A weekly senior drop-in group meets from 10:30 a.m.-noon, Wednesdays at 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. Participants discuss politics, current events, health, relationships and more. The fee is $7 per session. Contact Sandy Posner at (847) 745-5448 or ,

CJE SeniorLife offers support groups on a wide variety of topics of interest to seniors and their families. Fees vary according to program and individual circumstances and some groups may be partially covered by Medicare and supplemental insurance. To join a group, call CJE SeniorLife at (773) 508-1000.

Zazz, A Jazz Ensemble will perform a free concert from 2-3 p.m., Jan. 15 at Weinberg Community for Senior Living, Gidwitz Place Social Hall, 1551 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield. No registration required, just come and enjoy the music. Call (847) 374-0500.

Scrabble Club is for word lovers and game players of all levels. Learn the classic game of Scrabble or get tips to sharpen your skills, with instructor and tournament director Joe Cortese. Meets at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays at Bernard Horwich Building, 3003 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago. Free. Monthly meeting dates are Jan. 11, 18 and 25. Call (773) 508-1000.

Holocaust Survivors — Coffee and Conversation meets every Monday and Thursday throughout the month. Group meets from 2-3:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie. Free. Call (847) 568-5100 to register. Also held from 2-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, 12, 19 and 26 at JCFS Joy F. Knapp Center, 3145 W. Pratt Blvd., Chicago. Free. Call (847) 568-5100.

Living Life Through Loss, a drop-in bereavement support group, meets every Wednesday from 1:30-3 p.m. at CJE SeniorLife, 3003 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago. Any adult over the age of 60 who has lost a loved one in the past three years is encouraged to attend. Monthly meeting dates are Jan. 11, 18 and 25. There is a $5 fee for each session. Call (773) 508-1129.

Making Connections: Seniors with Adult Children with Disabilities meets from 11 a.m. to noon on the first and third Tuesday of every month. The program offers families an opportunity to connect, share experiences and learn about benefits and community resources. Those interested in attending must register in advance by calling (773) 508-1694. Bernard Horwich Building, 3003 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago. Monthly meeting date: Jan. 17.

A support group for family caregivers whose loved one has been diagnosed with an atypical dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, or Primary Progressive Aphasia) will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at Weinberg Community for Senior Living, 1551 Lake-Cook Road, Deerfield. Drop-ins are welcome. On-site respite care available during the support group; pre-registration is only required if bringing a loved one to respite care. Call Sara Sanderman at (847) 236-7863. Monthly meeting date: Jan. 18.

Caregiving for Loved Ones with Dementia is a support group for individuals who are involved in the care of a loved one with dementia. Meets the first and third Wednesday of each month from 11 a.m. to noon at CJE’s Adult Day Services, 1015 W. Howard St., Evanston. RSVP to Amy Zann, LCSW, (773) 508-1690. Monthly meeting date: Jan. 18.

Community Senior Adults is open to new members. Lunch, socialization and entertainment are offered on a weekly basis. Purchase Kosher lunches at affordable prices. Meets 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation, 9700 Gross Point Road, Skokie. Call Esther Craven at (773) 508-1047. Meeting dates: Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31.

Want to learn more about the world around you? Lively senior current events discussion groups led by world traveler, editor, and educator June Michaelson meet at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays at Temple Judea Mizpah, 8610 Niles Center Road, Skokie. Call (847) 676-1566.

The Morton Grove Campus of the North Shore Senior Center, at 6140 Dempster St., offers programs, activities, and travel opportunities for adults. Register for all programs at the Senior Center between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call (847) 470-5223. The center offers the following programs:

Become a member of the North Shore Senior Center in Morton Grove and enjoy opportunities to live longer, happier, healthier lives through an array of programs, activities, trips and services. Members receive a discount on all programs, activities, and trips, program calendar and newsletter six times per year, information on local, state, and federal issues affecting seniors, and invitations to special events and presentations. Membership dues are $20 for an individual and $35 for a couple/household for a full year. Everyone is welcome.

The Morton Grove Seniors Bowling League is in need of bowlers. This is a mixed league that has been in existence for over 20 years and needs both full-time members and substitutes who want to bowl once in awhile. The group bowls at Classic Bowl on Waukegan Road Friday mornings beginning at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $8 each week for the three games. The season will run until the end of March. A luncheon follows the end of the season. Contact either Ron Ericksen at (847) 383-5305 or Hilda Karleskey, (847) 965-5854.

CJE SeniorLife is working with senior citizens and families across the Metropolitan Chicago through its new home safety assessments program to help spot possible safety hazards in the home. Through the service, a Certified Aging in-Place Specialist (CAPS) comes out to the home to discuss changes that may help the resident remain in their house longer. CAPS walks through the residence and presents a list of suggested modifications, repairs and preventative safety measures, and also provides a list of available resources for making these changes. Some overlooked items that a CAPS professional can help with include eliminating hazards caused by area rugs and frayed carpeting, reduction of clutter from walkways, installation of grab bars in the bathroom, securing railings that lead up and down staircases, fixing uneven steps, rerouting of electrical cords, modification of how to organize cabinets to avoid unnecessary reaching and bending and more. CJE SeniorLife’s home safety assessments by a CAPS professional provides an objective review of the home’s safety. The service costs $125 and most assessments last 90 minutes. For information, or to schedule an appointment, call CJE SeniorLife at (773) 508-1000.

Staff from nonprofit agency SASI will answer questions about home care and ways to stay home safely from 9-11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at North Shore Community Bank, 7800 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. For details, call SASI-Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes at (847) 864-7274 or visit

SASI’s Celebrating Experience: A Gallery of Art by senior citizens is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday, or by appointment. SASI is in the professional building above the retail shops at 1123 Emerson St., Evanston. Directions at

CJE SeniorLife is now accepting applications for Robineau Residence, 7550 N. Kostner Ave., in Skokie, for immediate move-in. The age requirement for residency at Robineau was recently lowered from 62 years of age to 55 years of age. In addition, the income level for a single occupant was raised to $42,100 per year. Robineau is designed to serve senior citizens who may need a helping hand. Applicants should qualify for subsidized housing under the provisions of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 program. An additional monthly service fee is required. A Robineau service fee assistance program is available for residents. For an application and a tour of Robineau, contact Dorothy Levant at (847) 675-8580.

The CBAI Foundation for Community Banking has announced its 2012 Annual Scholarship Program for Illinois High School seniors. A four-year $1,000 scholarship for higher education will be awarded to the author of the best essay submitted to the CBAI Foundation by a participating Illinois high school senior. As many as 12 additional $1,000 awards are available, one in each of the remaining 12 CBAI-designate regions of the state. An additional $500 will be awarded to the high school of the statewide recipient. All high school seniors may participate via a sponsoring CBAI member bank. For a list of participating CBAI member banks, visit Entries must be received by the CBAI foundation by the sponsoring bank by noon Feb. 6, to be eligible for judging. Scholarship funds will be awarded in May.

Navigating Grief: Finding Your Bearings After a Loss, a special one-session program by Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter is for individuals who have recently lost a loved one. Facilitated by a licensed counselor, this his one-session program will be offered from 1- 2:30 p.m., Jan. 9 at Midwest CareCenter, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview. Call (847) 730-1290 to register. Topics include normal grief reactions, coping mechanisms and what to expect. Learn more about our grief support groups:

Staying Motivated in a Tough Job Market will meet from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Jan. 26 to Feb. 16 at JVS Career Planning Center, 300 Revere Drive, 2nd Floor, Northbrook. Looking for a job takes an enormous amount of emotional energy. Four-week workshop helps you understand the personal barriers to motivation, manage stress and find support and encouragement, and create an action plan that works for you. No fee. Contact Roberta Glick, LCPC, NCC, at JVS, (847) 412-4304, or Rosalie Greenberger, LCSW, JCFS, (224) 625-2819,

Chuppah Project will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jan. 29 at ,Jewish Child & Family Services, 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. Join other engaged and newly married Jewish couples for a day of learning to gain skills preparing you for the rest of your lives. Discussion will include expectations of your marriage, differing family backgrounds, communication, conflict resolution, and building a Jewish home together. $150 per couple fee includes lunch. Contact Rosalie Greenberger, LCSW, (224) 625-2819, or

Finding Resources in the Community Chest will be held from 6-7 p.m., Jan. 5 at Jewish Child & Family Services, 3525 Peterson, Chicago. The group meets on the first Thursday of the month. Benefit from the community’s services for people needing food, financial help, employment assistance and additional resources. This group helps you identify your options, create a plan of action to rebuild, and includes resource sharing by group leader and members. Contact Lawrence Sodeinde, BS, (773) 516-5526. ,

Legacy from Loss, a support group for those who have lost a parent, meets from 7-8:30 p.m. on Mondays fro Jan. 9 to Feb. 13 at Jewish Child & Family Services, 3145 Pratt, Chicago. During the six-week series, topics will include what to expect from your grief, role changes, getting support, coping skills, and a discussion on developing your parents’ legacy. For those who have lost a parent over the last year. $90 series fee. Contact Elizabeth Siegel Cohen, LCSW, (847) 745-5404, ,

Hand in Hand: Support Group for Spouse and Partner Loss meets from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays from Jan. 18 to Feb. 22 at Jewish Child & Family Services, 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. During the six-week series, learn what to expect from your grief, adapt to role changes, seek support from loved ones, learn coping skills and adapt to changing relationships. For those with a loss over the past year. $42 series fee. Contact Elizabeth Siegel Cohen, LCSW, (847) 745-5404, ,

The Family Caregiver Circle is an educational support group for family members caregiving seniors. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at the Morton Grove Community Church, 8944 Austin Ave. Drop-ins are always welcome. If in need of respite care during the meeting, call (847) 965-2982, in advance.

NorthShore Hospice sponsors the following Grief Support Groups: Soul Mates, an ongoing support group for those who have experienced the death of a spouse or life partner. Group meets on second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8 p.m. at NorthShore Hospice office, 4901 Searle Parkway, Skokie. Legacy, an ongoing support group for adults who have experienced the death of a parent. The group meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8 p.m. at NorthShore Hospice office, 4901 Searle Parkway, Skokie. Handicap accessible and parking available. Pre-register with Thom Dennis, (847) 982-4364 or e-mail him at .

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban, will hold meetings from 9-10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., Room 1700, Evanston. Parking is free. Call (847) 716-2252.

The Bethany Terrace will host its monthly Alzheimer’s Association affiliated Dementia Support Group from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on the third Friday of every month, at 8425 Waukegan Road, in Morton Grove. Light refreshments will be served. Support Groups are an excellent way for family members to share their experiences meeting the challenges and rewards of living with a family member who has dementia/Alzheimer’s and to learn about the disease. All members of the community are welcome to attend. Call (847) 965-8100.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban, invites the public to attend its Family Support Group for families of adults coping with a mental illness. Program is free and meets from 7-8:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, at the Nesset Center, 1775 Ballard, north of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Free parking. Call (847) 716-2252.

Spousal Loss takes place from 10:30 a.m.-noon on Thursdays at Goldie Bachmann Luftig Building, 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. The loss of a spouse can have many lasting effects on one’s life. This six-week group is for those who have lost a spouse over the last year and a half. The focus will be on learning what to expect from your grief, adapting to role changes, coping skills, and navigating relationships. Fee is $42. Contact Elizabeth Siegel Cohen, LCSW at (847) 745-5404 or

Weight No More, a friendly weight loss support group, welcomes new members. Discussions include weight loss tips, recipes, and helpful ideas to help participants reach their goals. Fees are $5 monthly to defray the room rental costs, and small fines for weight gain. Meetings take place from 9:15-10:15 a.m. Fridays at the Howard Leisure Center, 6676 Howard St., Niles (elevator accessible). Call (847) 679-4229.

Families Anonymous is a support group for family members and friends who are concerned about and affected by substance abuse or behavioral problems of a loved one. Group 831 meets at 10 a.m. every Friday at Carter Westminster Church, 4950 W. Pratt Ave., Skokie, in basement; enter from parking lot in rear. Group 173 meets at 7:30 p.m. every Monday (except holidays) at First United Methodist Church, 418 W. Touhy Ave., Park Ridge, in the Parlor Room, south center portion of main level; use entrance at rear (Grant Place), across from parking lot. No dues or fees required. First names only used at meetings to preserve individual anonymity. This is a non-professional and non-religious program. Visitors always welcome. For more information and a list of other local meeting locations call Families Anonymous at (773) 777-4442 or visit

Tops Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), an international weight-loss network of support groups, holds a local meeting weekly on Mondays beginning at 5 p.m. at Niles Park District Center, 6676 West Howard St., on the lower level. The building is handicap accessible. Visitors are welcome to visit the first TOPS meeting free of charge. Call (847) 966-4871 or to find another local chapter, visit or call (800) 932-8677.

Overeaters Anonymous, an organization for people with eating disorders (compulsive overeating, anorexia, bulimia, etc.) meets Sundays at 9 a.m. at Lieberman Health Center, 9700 Gross Point Road, Skokie. Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program based on the principles of Alcoholic Anonymous. No dues or fees; the only requirement for participation is a “desire to stop eating compulsively.” Call Hasha (847) 507-9118.

An Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group, co-sponsored by Advocate Medical Group and the Alzheimer’s Association, is offered monthly at the Nesset Pavilion on the campus of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Meets 1:30-3 p.m. third Thursday of each month in lower-level conference room of Nesset Pavilion, 1775 Ballard Road, Park Ridge. Meetings are free; no registration is required. Sandy Guarise (847) 318-2501.

Les Turner ALS Foundation Support Group meets 7-8:30 p.m. second Wednesday of every month at Temple Beth Israel, 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie. For directions, call (847) 675-0951. Those attending are asked to notify Claire Owen, director of patient services at (847) 679-3311 or .

TARA APD Chicago -Treatment and Research Advancements Association for Personality Disorders holds monthly support group for people with loved ones suffering from borderline personality disorder or emotional dysregulation. Meeting held at Rush North Shore, 9600 Gross Point Road, Skokie, on the third Wednesday of the month 6:30-8:30 p.m. E-mail for the room number.

Starting Over: Adjusting to Life in the United States meets 9:30-11 a.m. on Mondays at 5150 Golf Road, Skokie. This free, weekly drop-in group is for Russian-speaking immigrants age 55 or older from the former Soviet Union. Call Lina, (773) 866-5035.

Coffee and Conversation for Holocaust Survivors meets from 1-2:30 p.m. on Mondays at the Holocaust Memorial Foundation, 4709 Golf Road, Skokie. Participants discuss challenges of aging, politics and current events, news from Israel and family celebrations. Free. Call (847) 568-5200.

Compulsive Eaters Anonymous meets as follows: 7-8 p.m. on Mondays in room 259 of the Lieberman Center, 9700 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Charlene, (847) 679-2505; 7-8 p.m. on Tuesdays at Rush North Shore Medical Center’s administrative center, 2 S. 9600 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Cherri, (847) 933-9501; 7-8 p.m. on Wednesdays at Rush North Shore Medical Center’s administrative center, 2 S. 9600 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Linda, (773) 387-4247; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sundays at Rush North Shore Medical Center (Sharfstein East), 9600 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Charlene, (847) 679-2505.

The Counseling Center of Advocate Medical Group offers a free Healing Our Lost Dreams support group twice a month for persons who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. Meets 7-8:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Counseling Center, 1610 Luther Lane, Park Ridge. Parents, grandparents and other adult family members invited. Call (847) 795-3100.

Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., Morton Grove, offers the following. Call (847) 965-5101 or visit

Improv Club will meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 5. Do you like to perform? Play fun improvisational games up on stage? Not a fan of the spotlight? Come watch and give scene suggestions. No experience needed.

Gettin’ Saucy Teen Cooking Class will be held at 6 p.m., Jan. 30. Learn to prepare delicious food. There is room for eight chefs. Registration is required and opens Jan. 16.

Looking for court watchers at the Skokie Courthouse for domestic violence. Domestic violence affects up to 50 percent of all families in the U.S. Being a court watcher is easy, convenient and rewarding. If you can be a volunteer for this very important program, contact Joanne Liberman, chairperson, at (847) 412-1577 or e-mail Joanne at .

CJE SeniorLife is in need of more volunteers for its Home Delivered Meals program in the north side of Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, and Morton Grove areas. Hot and cold meals are delivered weekdays from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Volunteers work in teams of two, where one person drives his/her car with the other person delivering the meals to the client’s door. Volunteers can choose one or two weekdays on a regular basis to deliver meals or assist as their schedule permits. For more information on becoming a Home Delivered Meals volunteer, call Anne Schuman at (773) 508-1064.

The Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs is seeking volunteers of all races, national origins, ages and physical abilities to assist in collecting data about their home-seeking experiences. Experience is not required, training will be provided. A small stipend and expenses will be paid. Call Viki at (847) 501-2029, Ext. 408, or e-mail .

The North Shore Senior Center in Northfield has the following volunteer needs: friendly visitors; volunteers for the House of Welcome; help with the Lunch Circle on Mondays and/or Wednesdays; transportation coordinator; and committee secretaries. Contact Maura Rogan at or (847) 784-6052.

Lincolnwood Place Retirement Community, 7000 N. McCormick Blvd., Lincolnwood, is seeking volunteers over the age of 16 to assist with resident programs. If interested, call Brad Howell at (847) 673-7166.

Maine Township Regional Medical Reserve Corps seeks volunteers with a desire to serve their communities. The Corps can assist police, fire and public-health officials in disasters or health emergencies in the area. Volunteers can be active, inactive or retired health professionals, students in health professions or others with related skills, as well as those who simply wish to give to the community. Physicians, nurses, dentists, dental techs, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, mental-health practitioners, laboratory and radiology technicians, medical students, non-medical personnel, veterinarians and clergy are strongly encouraged to apply. MRC units are locally based volunteers who can assist their communities during emergencies such as an influenza epidemic, or another public-health emergency, disaster or act of terrorism. For volunteer application, call Bob Cohen (847) 297-5911, send an e-mail to , or visit

Friends of the Morton Grove Forest Preserve is a volunteer organization dedicated to protection and preservation of the Cook County natural areas that run through Morton Grove and Niles. All are welcome to get involved. Call John Thill (847) 966-0231.

Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., Morton Grove, has the following programs and information available:

A Job Seeker Workshop will meet from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Jan. 26. All-day workshops are provided by employment coaches from Illinois WorkNet. Bring your own lunch; coffee and water will be provided. Topics include expert guidance on writing résumés and cover letters that get results; job search techniques to find jobs in today’s market; and guidance and direction needed for interview preparation. Review the common questions and learn effective ways to answer them. Mock interviews will be conducted to practice new-found skills and reinforce others. For more information about Illinois WorkNet, call (847) 864-3530 or go to

Learn how to use a computer: one-on-one tutorials.

Beginning Mouse is offered for those with little or no experience using a computer. Learn to use a computer mouse. Contact the Reference Services Desk at (847) 929-5101.

Online Library Catalog: Learn how to search, place holds, review your account and more with the Library’s online catalog. Contact the Reference Services Desk at (847) 929-5101 or e-mail .

Tech Savvy Workshops will feature: There’s an App for That at 7 p.m., Jan. 26. There are applications for everything. Discover fun and useful free apps that can be downloaded to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Apps for productivity, news, social networking and more will be demonstrated. Call the Reference Services Desk at (847) 929-5101 or go to .

Morton Grove Community Calendar for Jan. 5, 2012

Gaming outlook in 2012: Busy, busy, busy

December 29, 2011

What could become the gaming industry’s biggest story of 2012 is already taking shape.

Nevada-based casino operators and slot machine manufacturers are evaluating the political and economic landscape of what some hope will evolve into the industry’s largest expansion year on record.

Four casino projects are under way in Ohio, with the first to open in downtown Cleveland by March. A casino near Wichita, Kan., will have a soft unveiling this week in preparation for a January opening.

Massachusetts is weighing locations for three full-scale casinos and a slot machine parlor. Maryland is expected to award a casino site in downtown Baltimore to Caesars Entertainment Corp. next year.

Meanwhile, New York’s governor is considering a plan for legalized private casinos as a way to create jobs. In Kentucky, a state lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow five racetracks to add casinos pending local voter approval. A Texas businessman wants to build seven casinos in Arkansas.

Illinois and Kansas are considering measures to expand their current casino environments.

The big jackpot is Florida. Casino companies are exploring the state, especially Miami. Lawmakers will debate gaming ideas this spring.

If Texas had a legislative session in 2012 — state lawmakers meet every other year — a casino bill would surely be considered.

Nevertheless, 2012 is a full-scale employment opportunity for casino industry lobbyists.

How widespread is gaming expansion fever?

In an op-ed piece for a Honolulu legal website last week, a Hawaii lobbyist proposed that the state — one of two along with Utah without any form of legalized gambling — should bring casinos to the islands.

Fitch Ratings gaming analyst Michael Paladino said there are many factors against casino growth. In comments for a research report on the casino industry outlook in 2012, Paladino warned that legalization of Internet poker by Congress — supported by most casino operators — is in trouble.

“The political environment will make it difficult for large-scale gaming expansion in Florida and Illinois to be approved in the near term, and federal-level gaming legislation may be less likely due to the 2012 presidential race,” Paladino said.

The two biggest battles are in Florida, over legalizing casinos altogether, and Massachusetts, where regulators have to approve a location for one Boston-area casino.

Florida has a myriad of issues.

Most of the major casino operators want a place in Miami. Malaysia-based Genting Group has laid claim to a waterfront site in downtown Miami along Biscayne Bay where the company plans to construct a colossal $3.8 billion casino complex. One economic study said the project would rival the entire Strip in terms of gaming revenues.

Even Miami’s mayor thought the development was too overwhelming.

The trouble for Florida gaming prospects are opponents to casino expansion; the Seminole Indian tribe, which operates the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, and theme park owner Walt Disney Co.

“The Mouse House in Orlando is not going to support gaming,” said one Wall Street analyst.

In October, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, during a meeting with the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board, said northern Florida lawmakers oppose gaming, but the lure of tax dollars may drive the decision.

“The north will let the heathens in the south have the casinos and they’ll take the benefits,” Bush said.

A Boston gaming license is turning into a conflict between Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Caesars Entertainment. Last week, Boston-area media reported that Las Vegas Sands Corp. might jump into the fray.

A company owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will partner with Wynn on a site across from Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough. Wynn would build a $1 billion hotel-casino on the land.

Caesars has a strategic alliance with Suffolk Downs racetrack in East Boston to jointly acquire the Boston-area gaming license. The Caesars-Suffolk Downs partnership has the backing of key state lawmakers who pushed the casino bill through the legislature.

Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn watched a Patriots game from Kraft’s private box in December and will address Foxborough residents publicly on Jan. 10. His persona is gaining attention, but it may not win the license.

“Foxborough is a suburb,” said one knowledgeable insider. “(Lawmakers) want the casino in Boston,” where analysts believe gaming could produce $1.5 billion in annual revenues.

The Battle for Boston is just one story to follow in 2012.

Howard Stutz’s Inside Gaming column appears Sundays. He can be reached at or 702-477-3871. He blogs at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

Gaming outlook in 2012: Busy, busy, busy

The Action in the $15,000 Carbon Poker League is Heating Up

December 29, 2011

Download Carbon Poker now and start playing in the $15,000 Carbon Poker League!

There are only a couple of weeks left in the $15,000 Carbon Poker League and you should hit the tables so you don’t miss out on the huge value that’s up for grabs.

Last week, "pbokss" took down the points and cash in Friday’s league event. "Pbokss" added 30 league points to his leaderboard score, which means he is now sitting in third place on the $15,000 Carbon Poker League Leaderboard.

Still leading the pack is "xxMTVxx," who managed two remarkable performances in the Carbon League VIP Freerolls. See below for the current leaderboard and make sure you don’t miss out on the next league event!

$15,000 Carbon Poker League Leaderboard

PlacePlayerPoints 1stxxMTVxx220 2ndkondor12001120 3rdpbokss119 4thRogerdelpk117 5thGanadian115 6thMagicMouse114 7thRecordman88109 8theric46XY104 9thbecken22100 10thallowme9991

To start earning points and make your way up the leaderboard, make sure to play in the weekly $3.00+$0.50 ($50 added) Tuesday and the weekly $5.00+$1.00 ($100 added) Friday events.

Below is an outline of how the Tuesday event awards league events. The Friday event awards double the points!

League Point Payout Structure

PlaceLeague Points 1st15 2nd11 3rd8 4th7 5th6 6th5 7th4 8th3 9th2 10th1

The weekly events consistently award points, but if you want to soar up the leaderboard, then don’t forget to take part in the next VIP Freeroll.

The VIP Freeroll is set to kick off on Thursday, Dec. 29 and will award a huge amount of cash while also handing out leaderboard-changing league points.

If you manage to secure enough league points over the next few weeks then you could find yourself in the top 30 players who will earn a spot in the Big Final

The Big Final will take place on Jan. 8 at 1800 GMT (1100 PDT) and will award $2,250 to the eventual winner.

Below you’ll see how much this promotion could be adding to your bankroll in January.

Big Final Payout Structure

PlacePrize 1$2,250 2$1,550 3$1,240 4$1,100 5$820 6$710 7$600 8$500 9$400 10$300 11$200 12$170 13$140 14$120 15$100

For more information about the league and a breakdown of all the results, visit the $15,000 Carbon Poker League page.

Remember that the $15,000 Carbon Poker League is exclusive to PokerNews players so if you haven’t already, sign up to Carbon Poker through PokerNews and don’t forget to use the bonus code ”POKERNEWS” when making your first deposit and you can enjoy a massive 150% up to $750 bonus.

If you experience any problems with this or any of our promotions, please contact our Ticketed Promo Support System.

The Action in the $15,000 Carbon Poker League is Heating Up

Casinos could be jackpot for condo-hotels

December 29, 2011

South Florida’s condo industry is reaching an almost giddy level of optimism in anticipation of the January session of the Florida legislature, when state leaders are expected to consider — and possibly adopt — language that would permit Las Vegas-style casinos in the economic struggling counties of Miami-Dade and Broward.

Real estate developers, sales agents, and units owners alike are preoccupied with visions of how casinos could provide further stimulus for the improving — but still wobbling — South Florida condo market that crashed in 2007 under the weight of an oversupply of new projects.

Consider that since the second quarter of 2011, when Malaysian-based Genting Group purchased the Miami Herald headquarters and surrounding land for a possible casino, at least 16 new condo towers with more than 3,500 new units have been proposed in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The new condo towers are being proposed despite more than 3,700 new units near the coast remaining unsold in Miami-Dade and Broward counties as of Sept. 30.

At the current sales pace, the new condos could be sold out by 2013, which does not factor in bulk buyers who are looking to resell units acquired during the scariest times of the South Florida real estate crash.

It is not to say all of the newly proposed projects — three of which have already begun construction — will be cancelled if the casino legislation fails next month, but it is curious to see how many projects have been announced since the Genting Group announced its plans for a 10-million-square-foot complex in downtown Miami.

Part of the South Florida optimism is rooted in a sudden surge in condo transactions in 2011 by cash buyers from abroad with strong foreign currencies who have been picking up units in bunches.

All the while qualified domestic users with healthy down payments have for the most part failed to acquire their own condo units due, in part, to lender apprehension about providing financing for South Florida condos.

Under the proposed casino legislation, three licenses — two in Miami-Dade and one in Broward — would be available to chosen groups that commit to spend at least $2 billion for new development, which should spur jobs and future tax revenue.

In recent months, representatives from what seems like every major casino operator in the world -—Caesars Entertainment Corp. to Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. to MGM Resorts International — have reportedly visited South Florida to explore the prospects of pursuing one of the potential gambling licenses.

The optimism brewing for the prospect of casinos has many in the real estate industry hoping that the possible approval of gambling in Miami-Dade and Broward counties could jumpstart South Florida’s condo market, which has suffered financial pain and hardship since the peak in 2006.

The bullishness, however, may be overly optimistic for most existing South Florida condo projects where association bylaws regulate the period of time that units can be rented out annually.

Much like in the Las Vegas condo market, only those condo units that can be rented out by the day or week are likely to realize any direct boost in leasing activity, which in turn could translate into stronger pricing rather than the emergence of casinos.

For the majority of South Florida condo projects, leasing is limited to three-, six-, or 12-month increments annually. As a result, any boost in pricing would likely occur as part of an overall improvement in the South Florida market.

Casinos could be jackpot for condo-hotels

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